The Content Of The Article:
- Growing Instructions
- Ideal varieties - a selection for the balcony
Where on the balcony picturesque flowers, decorative leaves and bright red fruits draw the viewer into the spell, strawberries in the flower box do the honors. In fact, the seductive fruit plants are not limited to growing in the bed. This guide will guide you through all the steps needed to turn your balcony into a strawberry paradise. From the right location to the perfect balcony box right through to professional care, you will find out all the important details. A handpicked list of ideal varieties will show you the way to your own strawberry snack garden on the balcony.
Growing InstructionsThe successful cultivation of strawberries in flowers is based on an interaction of important single factors. Therefore please pay attention to all sections of this manual, because sometimes it just lacks little things, if the hoped-for harvest fails.
Cultivation by sowingInstead of buying ready-drawn strawberry plants, the cultivation for the ambitious home gardener begins with the cultivation. Certified seeds are available from specialist retailers. Alternatively, harvest the fine seeds yourself. To do so, dry fully ripe fruits and collect the seed nuts from the outer skin. Until the sowing date in February or March, keep the seed dark, cool and dry. How to grow strawberries for the flower box itself:
- Soak seeds in chamomile tea or lukewarm water for 4 to 6 hours
- Fill a seed bowl with potting soil and spray with soft water
- Sprinkle the seeds, press with a board and sift thinly
- Cover the seed hopper with a transparent lid or plastic wrap
Tips for the perfect flower boxFor vigorous growth and a rich harvest, strawberries in the planter need sufficient substrate volume. As a rule of thumb, it has been proven in practice to provide each plant with 25 to 30 cubic centimeters of soil. Choose flower boxes with a width of 25 to 30 cm. The length can be adjusted to the space of the balcony. With 60, 90 or 120 cm long balcony boxes every garden center is well stocked.
When buying, please make sure that a flower box has several bottom openings, so that here excess rainwater and irrigation water runs off. Rounded edges prevent the tendrils of your strawberry plants from bending. Advantageous are planters with integrated irrigation system. Here is a supply of water in a separate level, from which you can use your thirsty plants. When the stock is to be replenished, can be read on the water level indicator.
Tip: Window boxes in dark colors attract the sun, whereupon the substrate with the root ball can heat up strongly in midsummer. The better choice are therefore planters in white or light pastel tones, because here the sun's rays are reflected.
Substrate - mixing yourself is the trump card
The own cultivation of strawberries in the flower box offers not least the advantage that you later know exactly what the fruits contain and what not. Pre-fertilized potting soil from the discounter nullifies this privilege. By mixing potting soil for your strawberries, you pave the way for a premium-quality strawberry harvest. That is how it goes:
- Use organic vegetable soil without peat as base
- Tire, sieved compost under the bio-substrate mix in the ratio 1: 3
- Add about 100 grams of horn shavings per flower box
- A few handfuls of perlite, expanded clay or lava granules for optimized permeability
plantsThe expert planting technique is based on important aspects, such as correct planting depth, appropriate planting distance and the prevention of damming water in the substrate. When the first warm sunrays lure in the beginning of April, the strawberry plantation time begins on the balcony. This is how you proceed correctly:
- Put the potted plants in water to soak the root ball
- On the box floor lay a layer of expanded clay, gravel or potsherds as drainage
- Lay a breathable fleece over it, so that the water-bearing layer does not get muddy
- Fill the substrate so that a pouring edge is exposed
- Populate strawberries and plant at intervals of 20 to 30 cm
Tip: In order for the loose substrate mixture to settle, it is filled into the balcony box about 2 to 3 weeks before planting. This precaution prevents the root bales of freshly planted strawberries from being partially exposed after some time and soil needs to be replenished.
A sunny, warm and luftumspülte location at the south-exposed location brings you on the balcony a strawberry harvest in the best quality. In half shady place thrive the frugal plants also. However, the abundance of flowers and the fruit hanging leave a lot to be desired.
Pour and fertilizeOne of the key functions of care is the consistent supply of water. On hot summer days please check in the early morning and again in the evening if the soil has dried. Run the water from the watering can directly onto the substrate until it runs out of the bottom openings. The next time it is watered only when the surface of the earth has dried noticeably. Field trials in professional strawberry cultivation have proven that the best time to water in the early morning is between 3 and 4 o'clock.
Those who do not like to get up so early provide their strawberry plants on the balcony in good time, before the sun hits the leaves directly. If you follow our recommendation for a nutritious substrate mix, additional fertilizer applications are not required in the first year. Only when the leaves are light green to yellowish and indicate nutrient deficiency, administer a liquid organic fertilizer for berry plants. In the following years you provide strawberry plants on the balcony from April to September every 3 to 4 weeks with an organic plant fertilizer, which you add to the irrigation water.
Mulching keeps strawberries clean and healthyIn the flower box, strawberries seldom come into contact with the substrate. Rather, the long tendrils dangle elegantly over the edge. Where there are still points of contact between the fruits and the soil, lay out a mulch layer of straw. This simple trick keeps strawberries clean and prevents them from rot and mold.
Cutting after the harvestDepending on your choice of variety, the harvest extends into October. When the strawberry season ends on the balcony, cut back the plants. To do this, remove all leaves and tendrils except for the heart bud. With this cutback you eliminate accumulated inhibitors, which could affect another strawberry time on the balcony.
Wintering - Tips & TricksStrawberry plants are hardy, so they thrive in the flower box perennial. Experience has shown that they maintain their vitality for at least two to three years before they are exhausted in the fourth year. Since the root ball behind the thin walls of the balcony box are in an attackable position, we recommend this winter protection:
- Place the planter in a wind and rain proof niche after cutting
- Put a wooden or styrofoam underlay
- Wrap the vessel in bubble wrap
- Pull a coconut mat over the foil, which projects beyond the edge of the box 10 cm
- The substrate cover with leaves, wood wool or straw
Ideal varieties - a selection for the balcony
Wild strawberries and their resulting varieties are perfect for cultivating in the flower box. In contrast to the majestic garden strawberries they remain small and compact, to give us countless, juicy-sweet fruits. As a special advantage, balcony gardeners appreciate that the following varieties are fruiting several times for a never-ending harvest season until autumn:
This strawberry is one of the leading varieties for growing in the flower box. Their large, red fruits are suitable for fresh consumption as well as for freezing. By cleaning out the first two or three flower stems in spring, you increase the yield. Thanks to its numerous foothills Ostara offers every autumn plenty of material for vegetative propagation.
- Growth height: 30 to 40 cm
The immigrant strawberry variety from France delights with medium-sized, aromatic fruits. The conical fruit with its soft flesh is ideal for snacking and making jam. Home gardeners appreciate that this strawberry plant forms no foothills, which reduces the care and cutting costs.
The new breed draws attention with elongated, red fruits that invite to snack.In addition, Amandine proves to be well resistant to fungal diseases. Thanks to their soft consistency, housewives like to use this variety for cooking.
With beautiful, pink flowers, the strawberry plant is a feast for the eyes on the balcony. From July to October, Toscana offers a fruity-sweet palate that tastes best from fresh stems. In the sunny spot and cultivated according to this manual, you can look forward to a crop yield of up to 1 kg per plant.
Sperling's Bowl Magic
The variety name indicates that this variety is ideal for a sparkling fruit pleasure. This does not contradict that the sugar-sweet, small strawberries land directly in the mouth of young and old or shine as a tempting cake topping. As a typical strawberry, the variety flowers and fructifies throughout the summer and dispenses with annoying foothills.
Try this seductive lover variety for growing in the flower box. The enduring wild strawberry can be eaten comfortably from the sun lounger throughout the summer. Her bushy habit and an enchanting, white-pink floral splendor also set decorative accents on the balcony.
- Growth height, length: 15 to 20 cm
The genuine wild strawberry has proven itself as a classic for growing in the balcony box and in the bed. White flowers, healthy leaves and compact growth characterize the premium variety. The small red fruits with the sugar-sweet aroma find their place in the little Kindermund.
The creamy-white fruits with yellowish nutlets immediately catch the eye and harmonize wonderfully with the green leaves and white flowers. This special variety comes from the Hummi assortment that conjures strawberries with pineapple flavor. In addition, White Fairy does not necessarily rely on a full sun, because in the shade, it also thrives abundantly and rich in flowers.
The ideal variety for gardeners who attach more importance to the decorative value than to the crop yield. From May to July, the annual strawberry clad in a garment of white, lush filled flowers from which only a few fruits develop. Known is the historic variety as a perfect candidate for the authentic planting plan in the cottage garden. Thanks to a stature height of 15 to 20 cm, it not only feels well in the bed, but also in the large flower box.
The ideal balcony strawberry from the traditional house Ahrens and Siebertz completes the handpicked variety list. As a strawberry, Rimona has everything we could ask for from a strawberry for growing in the planter. Compact growth, charming flowers, healthy foliage and flocks of juicy-aromatic fruits from spring to autumn.
With this guide, the dream of strawberry snack on the balcony is within your grasp. A large, 25 to 30 cm wide flower box provides the seductive plants in the sunny, warm location ideal conditions for a vital, profitable growth. A proprietary blend of organic vegetable soil, compost and horn shavings or natural long-term fertilizer guarantees healthy strawberry enjoyment for the whole family. Care is limited to watering during drought, which may be required in the midsummer morning and evening hours. Follow our recommendations for ideal varieties, harvest juicy-sweet fruit chocolates until autumn. A pruning down to the heart bud and a thick winter coat for the balcony box ensure that strawberry plants survive the cold season unscathed.